US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The number of deaths in Sweden tends to Italian heights, in contrast to the situation in our neighboring countries. Politicians elected by the people must intervene – there is no other way.
The numbers at the beginning of the article are specified in the appendix.
From April 7 to 9, in the last working days before the weekend, in Sweden, 10.2 people per million inhabitants per day died from covid-19. In Italy, this figure is 9.7. In Denmark – 2.9, in Norway – 2.0, and in Finland – 0.9 (according to data published on the Worldometer on Sunday).
Thus, in Sweden now ten times more people die from coronavirus than in neighboring Finland. In Finland, all cafes and restaurants, as well as schools, are closed (with the exception of groups in kindergartens and elementary schools organized for children of citizens working in vital areas). Also in Finland, all meetings involving more than ten people are prohibited.
“We also started with recommendations,” said Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, “but you can’t recommend people don’t leave home to a restaurant if all the catering facilities are still open.”
Norway, where five times fewer people die than in Sweden, the restrictions are not as severe as in Finland, but still they are much stricter than ours. “For Norway, the most important thing was to establish control at this stage, to take a number of measures at the very beginning,” says Camilla Stoltenberg. “It was necessary to buy time and prepare for what will happen next, to create good prerequisites for a phased struggle against the epidemic.”
I would like to think that Sweden’s strategy also takes into account the future, especially taking into account the fact that our country has recently preferred to fight the virus in a completely different way than the rest of the world. I would like to think that our authorities are well prepared since the outbreak in China, and then it became clear that the problem is likely to be global.
On January 31, the medical publication The Lancet issued a forecast on the global development of the situation based on Chinese data. The conclusions read: “Big cities, closely connected by transport networks with China, can also become the epicenters of the outbreak, if you do not immediately begin to make efforts to maintain health both at the level of the entire population and at the individual level. “All countries of the world urgently need to develop a plan to slow the spread of infection, and quickly begin to implement it.”
But in Sweden they did not do this. A week later, on February 6, the director of the Department of Public Health, Johan Carlson, said: “Under current circumstances, coronavirus will not spread in Swedish society.”
Therefore, little has been done in the country over the next month. No one tried to provide the opportunity to conduct more quality analyzes. No effort was made to build up supplies of medical protective equipment. Everyone continued to adhere to this course. Representatives of the Department of Public Health said at least four times that the number of cases was no longer growing or that it was about to begin to decline. But that did not happen.
Everyone who returned from the Italian Alps was advised to live, as usual, if they have no symptoms, and this despite the fact that it was already known how much the north of Italy suffered. Many still deny that it was the spread of infection by people without symptoms that greatly increased mortality among the elderly. But nobody wants to change recommendations.
If we had a well-developed, well-functioning strategy to prevent the spread of covid-19, hardly as many people would die in Sweden today as in Italy, and ten times more than in Finland. If we had a well-developed, well-functioning strategy, hardly half of the Stockholm nursing homes would be affected by the epidemic, and up to 20% of their staff would have a positive antibody test.
Some say that we will get sick sooner or later. Countries that have introduced stricter restrictions than Sweden (that is, all the rest) simply postpone the solution to the problem for a while. What immediately grab the bull by the horns is no worse.
But this point of view does not take into account two important facts.
1. With the current attitude towards the situation, we were not able to protect older citizens. We did not have enough protective equipment when an epidemic broke out, and we neglected the fact that nursing home personnel could even carry the virus without symptoms.
2. Thousands of scientific studies are currently underway on covid-19 treatments. These methods either include antiviral drugs or are based on mitigating the devastating effects of infection. Research results will be presented in the coming weeks and months. There is a chance that we can reduce mortality long before we get the vaccine. And this is perhaps the most important reason why we should try to postpone the problem for as long as possible and smooth out the distribution curve as much as possible.
But in Sweden, the number of deaths tends to Italian heights. Unlike neighboring countries.
“Politicians made decisions here,” said Camilla Stoltenberg of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. “These decisions concern the whole society, therefore, in order to be legitimate, they must first of all be based on the trust and interest of the entire population.”
There is no such trust in Sweden. Here in the media there is a war over how to act in this crisis. The war is understandable, given what indicators we have now.
Families are involved in the war, who want their children to stay at home, although authorities say they should go to school. Those who keep their teens in quarantine and those who allow them to go to cafes and arrange crowded outings are at war.
How can coronavirus be defeated in such conditions? How can you win a battle when there is no trust? How can one succeed when more and more people die, and those who must control the situation claim that the situation has actually stabilized? How can you win the fight if the people of choice are hiding behind the backs of officials who are now completely in charge of everything? These officials have so far not shown any talent and ability to predict the situation we are facing and to influence it.
The attitude to the problem must be changed radically and quickly. Since asymptomatic carriers spread the virus, care must be taken to increase social distance. Close schools and restaurants, like in Finland. All those who work with the elderly should be provided with adequate protective equipment. Introduce mass infectivity tests for all medical and social services staff.
Those who show antibodies to sars-covid-2 should be returned to work. Oblige everyone who has a family member ill or is a carrier of the virus to stay in quarantine at home. Constantly inform the public that anyone can be contagious.
“I’m always active and warn,” says Finnish President Niinistö. – That I have been silent all this time – how do you imagine this? I’m the president.”
So it should be in Sweden. The chosen people, on whom the main responsibility rests, must intervene – there is no other way.
Clarification (added after the publication of the article)
In light of the growing knowledge about the dynamics of the spread of the virus, for example, its high infectivity and the fact that it can be transmitted even before the development of symptoms, our article mainly talks about the need to reconsider the methods of maintaining social distance and protecting the elderly in our society.
In the ensuing discussion, the Department of Public Health stated that the figures we cited in the article as an argument were poorly substantiated. But, in our opinion, the cited figures themselves are not so important as the fundamental development of the pandemic, which we are now trying to point out.
However, the figures given in the article coincide with the statistics on the three most popular international sites – the WHO site, the website of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Worldometer website.
These same sites, in turn, take material from daily updated reports, which can be found on the website of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECPPC).
For Sweden, the ECPPC reports (including after a second check in the evening of April 14) the following data to date:
04/10/2020: 722 cases of infection, 106 deaths
04/09/2020: 726 cases of infection, 96 deaths
04/08/2020: 487 cases of infection, 114 deaths
WHO has the same numbers as Worldometer and the Johns Hopkins School, but is 24 hours longer (WHO provides 2:00 Central European Summer Time, Worldometer 0:00 GMT, John Hopkins School exact time for writing the report does not indicate). We focused on Worldometer.
The average figure for three days is 105 dead. If you divide it by the total population of Sweden (10.3), you get 10.2 dead per million citizens.
Thus, the cited figures are based on official data from the ECDC. So it is more likely that the Department of Public Health should explain why these figures do not coincide with national statistics for the same period officially published by our authorities.
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